Elephant Movie Review and Trailer
An ordinary high school day. Except that it's not.
The movie opens with John and his Dad in a car being driven erratically, hitting cars and shrubbery along a residential road. They pull over; John evicts the drunken old man and commanders the vehicle completing the journey to his school.
Elias is a keen photographer and on his way to school stops a young couple and requests to take photos of them surrounded by the fallen leaves and the morning sky, later developing the images in the school dark room.
On the school playing field kids are running and playing American Football. The camera then follows a young man with a red lifeguard top who meets his girlfriend in the school. This introduces us to Nathan and Carrie.
The movie follows each character and you get a glimpse at each interacting with one another during a normal school day before something changes their world forever.
Eric and Alex are regular guys but outcasts disliked by the jocks and the popular kids. Ultimately though, playing shooting games, watching Hitler documentaries and perusing gun websites can't be a healthy pastime for school kids.
Inspired by the Columbine shootings, the HBO production, a Cannes film festival winner was recorded on location in Portland Oregon is a horror film of sorts and is expertly presented in 78 minutes of mesmerising cinematography.
A wonderful scene accompanied with Ludwig van Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata documenting a playing field where most of the action happens off camera, is strangely compelling.
The use of the camera following the characters is a similar effect seen in the more recent Darren Aronfsky's The Wrestler.
Filmed almost like a fly on the wall documentary you feel like you are observing a real American High School rather than watching a film.
Movie Trivia: The Oregon school featured in the movie was disused and filled with actual school kids from the surrounding area. Most characters in the film use the actors real name. The school was torn down after filming.